[Update]: The hire is now official and announced by the university. As per reports throughout Thursday and Friday, Major Applewhite will be the co-OC, though Harsin will handle the play-calling duties. --GoBR--
Longhorns fans, welcome Bryan Harsin to the University of Texas family. After thirteen years of Greg Davis calling the plays, numerous outlets are now reporting that Harsin will be announced as Mack Brown's second offensive coordinator at Texas.
The 34-year old Harsin is a 10-year veteran of the Boise State Broncos staff. After serving as a graduate assistant in 2001 and tight ends coach from 2002-05, Harsin was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2006 when then-offensive coordinator Chris Petersen was promoted to head coach. Since taking over as offensive coordinator, Harsin's Broncos offense has finished 2nd, 4th, 12th, 1st, and 2nd in the nation in points per game.
Harsin and Petersen have worked exceptionally well together to produce one of the nation's most versatile and productive offenses. For a fantastic primer on what Boise State does so well, and how they do it, you can't do much better than this superb article at Smart Football.
Boise specializes in getting defenses out of position to make plays by utilizing the three major essentials in offensive football: numbers, leverage and grass. "Numbers" means outnumbering the defense at the point of attack - i.e. more blockers than defenders on the edge, more receivers than zone defenders, etc. "Leverage" refers to out-flanking a defense at the point of attack - i.e. you may not have numbers but the angles are on your side. "Grass" harkens to Willie Keeler's baseball adage, "hit ‘em where they ain't." Run the ball where there are the fewest defenders. As it turned out, Choate was right: Boise spends more time on distracting you then developing themselves. But don't get confused: the point is that although the Broncos have the talent to be one of the best teams in the country and could simply overrun certain opponents, their modus operandi is to be patient and to take what the defense gives them - a true reflection of Petersen, their coach. The quintessential underdog philosophy, they wear you down by picking at four and five yard gains until they pop a big one. Watching them on film, it's never surprising they score, but to a football junkie, the methodology of how they score is a work of art.
If there is a concern, it's there towards the end of that paragraph: how much of Boise's success is a reflection of their head coach, Chris Petersen? There's no question that a great deal of Boise's success is owed to Petersen, but my instinct is that this should be of more comfort to Broncos fans than a source of concern for Longhorns fans.
As Recruitocosm ably puts it: "Some questions have arisen about whether or not Harsin is calling the shots or if it’s been HC Chris Petersen working the high plains smurf turf mojo. With Harsin being there so long I have no problem purchasing the BSU playbook and employing Harsin to implement it."
With Harsin filling the offensive coordinator spot, all that remains now is the offensive line coaching position, which still appears to be down to Wisconsin's Bob Bostad and Oklahoma State's Joe Wickline.